Endemol Shingle DSP to Follow Astronauts to Mars

The production company will track the training and selection of candidates for the Mars One program, the winners of which will go on a one-way journey to the red planet.

Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP), a nonscripted production company owned by reality TV giant Endemol, has signed an exclusive deal to follow the selection and training of the first astronauts on their journey to Mars.

The deal, with nonprofit space exploration group Mars One, will see DSP become the exclusive worldwide production partner for Mars One's astronaut selection and training program.

More than 200,000 candidates applied to the program, which aims to land the first humans on Mars by 2025. Of the applicants, 705 candidates have been shortlisted to take part in an elite training program aimed at selecting the group of astronauts that will set off on the first one-way mission to the red planet.

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DSP, whose productions include Neil Armstrong: First Man on the Moon and Earth From Space, will produce numerous TV programs documenting the mission every step along the way. The first in the series is set for delivery in 2015.

The first stage of the Mars One program will be an unmanned mission to Mars, scheduled for launch in 2018.